the Republican-led state's broader push against "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" (DEI) initiatives at public institutions.DEI programs and ideas at schools, businesses, and other institutions have come under intense scrutiny from Republicans in recent years, especially among those on the further-right fringes, with lawmakers arguing that they are examples of wasteful spending.
Earlier this year in Iowa, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds called on the state's Board of Regents to conduct reviews of DEI programs at the state's three public universities: the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and Northern Iowa University.On Thursday, the nine-person board voted in favor of a recommendation that the three schools cut all DEI-focused positions and offices that are not required to meet accreditation standards or to comply with state and federal laws.
As part of the adopted recommendations, the schools must take reasonable steps to ensure that "no employee, student, applicant, or campus visitor is compelled to disclose their pronouns."It is unclear to what degree any of the schools impacted had rules or programs in place that compelled pronoun disclosure.
The wording of the recommendation also suggests that individuals can still be invited to voluntarily disclose their pronouns if they wish to.The three public schools host roughly 70,000 students.